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Tunisian Blogger Undeterred by Censorship

The youth whose self-immolation triggered the recent protests in Tunisia has died from his burns. Twenty-six year-old Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in mid-December after police confiscated his market stall in the southern city of Sidi Bouzid.  Selling fruit and vegetables had been the sole source of income for the university graduate and...

Threat of Force Remains in Ivory Coast Negotiations

West African leaders say a promise by Ivory Coast's incumbent president to resolve his country's political crisis peacefully does not remove the threat of a regional military force to drive him from office.The Economic Community of West African States says incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo must yield power to the internationally-recognized winner...

Ultimatums Hang Over Ivory Coast

As of Saturday, dual ultimatums are hanging over Ivory Coast.  Meanwhile, the divided country's rival presidents both issued their own new year's messages late Friday.  In a message he read on state media, incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo said he had never seen such interference by the international community in a country's internal affairs.But...

Media Watchdog Says 2010 Dangerous Year for Journalists

2010 marked another difficult year for the media, with 57 journalists killed and a sharp rise in kidnapped journalists. Our reporter in Paris has more on a new report by media watchdog group Reporters Without Borders. Paris-based Reporters Without Borders says the number of journalists killed in 2010 actually declined 25 percent compared to 2009....

Ivory Coast Battle Over Embassies Moves to Washington

The Ivory Coast battle over ambassadors has moved to Washington where supporters of internationally-recognized President Alasanne Ouattara apparently forced the Ivorian embassy to shut down.  Incumbent Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo is refusing to step down following elections in November, despite growing outside pressure including from...

Ivory Coast Diplomat Warns Crisis Threatens to Bring Genocide

Ivory Coast's new U.N. ambassador said Wednesday the ongoing dispute over who won last month's presidential election is pushing his country to the brink of genocide.Youssofou Bamba made his comments in New York after presenting his credentials to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.  Mr. Bamba was appointed by Alassane Ouattara, who the United...

Mediators Finding No Progress in Ivory Coast Dispute

While the international community is pushing in many directions to have incumbent Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo step down, they are finding no success one month after a disputed election. Analysts now say the much anticipated and costly election may not have been the solution to the Ivorian problem the international community was hoping for...

Televised Debate over Sudan’s Referendum Set Wednesday

An official of the Sudan’s referendum commission said his organization Wednesday will begin the first in a series of debates between high-ranking representatives of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) ahead of the 9th January referendum. George Benjamin, a commission spokesman, told VOA the...

Despite Growing Pressure, Ivory Coast Incumbent Gbagbo Still Has Outside Allies

Amid growing international pressure for him to step down, embattled incumbent Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo can still count on some outside allies.  They include African leaders and activists who believe they are fighting for independence from outside interference.While former South African President Thabo Mbeki was one of the first...

Gbagbo Makes His Case to French Media

In interviews with two leading French newspapers, Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo accused France and the United States of plotting to remove him. The accusation comes as supporters of Ivory Coast presidential contender Alassane Ouattara on Monday peacefully took control of their country's Paris embassy after loyalists of Gbagbo departed.   Gbagbo...

U.N. Human Rights Council Condemns Violence in Ivory Coast

The U.N. Human Rights Council passed a resolution Thursday on the political crisis in Ivory Coast.  The resolution condemns the violence taking place there, such as killings, abductions, arbitrary detentions, extrajudicial executions and sexual violence. The council called for an immediate end to all human rights violations in Ivory Coast.  It...

World Bank Freezes Ivory Coast Financing

The World Bank says it has frozen financing for Ivory Coast, where incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo is clinging to power in the face of global criticism. The move increases the pressure on Mr. Gbagbo to hand power to rival Alassane Outtara, the internationally-recognized winner of last month's presidential election. At the same time, France and...

Dominican Teen Wins Children's Peace Prize

A 16-year-old girl from the Dominican Republic has received the 2010 Children's Peace Prize. Francia Simon campaigned for the right of all children in the country - native-born and refugee - to be registered, with a birth certificate, so they could gain access to health care and education.The Children's Peace Prize is presented by the KidsRights...

Ivorian Supporters say They Will 'Fight to Death' for Gbagbo

Supporters of incumbent Ivorian president, Laurent Gbagbo, say they are ready to fight to the death to keep him in power, while the United Nations points to growing evidence of "massive violations of human rights" since last month's disputed presidential election. In Ivory Coast, incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo refuses to cede power to Alassane...

EU Considers Sanctions on Ivory Coast Politicians

Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo and his wife are among 19 people to face European Union sanctions as the leadership crisis in the West African country continues. At a Brussels press briefing, a spokeswoman said the European Union had finalized a list of Ivorians who face travel bans and other sanctions by the 27-member bloc. She said Ivory Coast...